Presentation on theme: "DR. MARY EL-MEREEDI Graduate Research Advisor 313 Administration Building Phone: 4403-5420."— Presentation transcript:
DR. MARY EL-MEREEDI Graduate Research Advisor 313 Administration Building Phone:
What is a Dissertation? A dissertation addresses a problem or a question. A dissertation advances an argument by identifying a thesis and supporting it with evidence and logic. Your argument should be relevant and timely. It debunks a myth; corrects a misconception; enters a debate, or challenges a popular interpretation
The Basic Requirements A Dissertation MUST be: An ORIGINAL CONTRIBUTION to the field SIGNIFICANT Be prepared to explain the significance of you topic compellingly. You should be able to answer the following two questions thoroughly and concisely: 1. My dissertation will address the following question: ____. 2. It will fill the following gap in the literature: ____.
First Things First Title Page Declaration of Originality Abstract Dedication (optional) Acknowledgements (optional) Table of Contents List of Abbreviations (if applicable) List of Tables (follow your format guideline) List of Figures (follow your format guideline)
Abstract vs. Introduction The Abstract is NOT an introduction to your research. It is a very short summary of the research meant to tell a potential reader searching for scholarly material on a given topic if this is what he/she is looking for. The abstract is typically between words which will force you to rigorous about the priorities of your research. It is often easier to write a good abstract at the very end
Chapter One: The Introduction A good Introduction should: Set out the aims and objectives of the research The context of the work (Background) Your reasons for engaging with the topic You want to get a handle on this as early as possible, so you don’t ask yourself 40 pages in, what is this about? A detailed exegesis (unpacking) of the title which may include explanations of certain word choices, coined phrases, terminology, etc.
Chapter One (continued) Should state your specific research questions You may find it helpful to discuss each question/sub-question separately, spending a couple of paragraphs on each question (As you are writing these up, keep in mind that you will be re-visiting them in the conclusion to show how you have answered them) It is a very good practice to closely review chapter one after you have finished writing the dissertation Should discuss limitations and delimitations Must address the impact of lack of time, resources, space etc.
Chapter Two: Literature Review The literature review is where you outline the previous work on the topic. Organize your literature review in a way that will inform the imperial work to come Organizing your lit review requires careful thought and planning A lit review must be comprehensive, but that doesn’t mean you have to include everything written on the topic Focus on literature that has been well-researched rather than work that is over reliant on secondary sources
Chapter Two (continued) Avoid organizing your lit review in the order in which you came across the material (THIS IS A COMMON MISTAKE) Start with providing an appropriate historical discussion. Include the first major work(s) in the field You may need to address different “schools of thought” Show how subsequent work has contributed, modified the topic Lead up to where current research has left off Identify the gaps in the current research, and End with where your research will fit in to help address these gaps. Remember, the lit review is NOT a summary of a collection of the articles you have read.
Chapter Three: Methodology The task of the methodology chapter is to spell out in EXACT detail the specific choices made for the methods used, and To justify your methodological choices It is the norm to include some references to support your methodological choices Do NOT give a lit review of various methodologies used in your field (i.e. a discussion of qualitative vs. quantitative methodology)
Chapter Three (continued) In essence, chapter three is a “zoom in” of your approach to answering the research question(s) Should include a discussion of your research strategy (quantitative, qualitative, mixed method) Your research design (experimental, quasi-experimental) This is where it will help to have a research methodology expert on your committee Survey method (survey, phone, questionnaire, etc.) Instrumentation Validity and Reliability Issues Consent and ethical considerations Sample population Generalizability Biases As you write this chapter, you should be answering the following: How exactly will the data be collected? Justify. How will it be coded (if applicable)? Where will the data be stored/filed/destroyed? How will it be analyzed? What statistical techniques? Justify What instruments will be used? Justify.
Chapter Four: Findings and Discussion You may want to report on the findings separately before the discussion of the results, or You may want to discuss the findings as you report the results Either way, you should clearly explain which approach you take Clear sub-headings will help keep you organized
Chapter Five: Conclusion The conclusion is generally based on re-visiting the research questions You are succinctly answering the research questions with support from the results and findings in chapter four. You should also address what’s next Practical implications Questions for further research Most importantly, DO NOT attempt to answer any new questions in the conclusion
Last but not Least References APA, MLA, CHICAGO, AMA, IEEE Must be Consistent Throughout Know what is used in your discipline and GET THE HANDBOOK! Appendices In Order of Appearance in the Text IRB, ACOUC, IBC Approvals are required by QU and by ProQuest Research Cannot be Published Without These Approvals
Still not Finished! Similarity Index Approval TAD Approval from Graduate Studies Submission to ProQuest, Library Repository
Tips for Dissertation Success Set deadlines early on in the process Ask for feedback early, and often Find out what your committee wants and expects from you But remember that this is YOUR dissertation Take breaks when you need it to rejuvenate yourself Read everything you can Celebrate your accomplishments as you go Know that you can finish!